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My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

The Student News Site of Claudia Taylor Johnson High School

My Jag News

Orchestra-more than just a class


by Sabrina Williams| staff writer

Some may see them as kids carrying heavy-looking black cases, speaking what seems to be another language about first, second, third strings, concertos, serenade in F minor and all else. But the Johnson Orchestra is much more than just a musically-gifted cult, it’s an organized and dedicated group that practices for hours on end, sending their notes floating down the art hall late into the afternoon.

“I like the sense of community that our orchestra has,” sophomore Caitlin Glenn said. “I think it’s great playing all of this cool stuff all together, and just making great music.”

Orchestra violinists get in an extra practice during lunch.

The group’s next big trip is to Mo Ranch to attend a session for team building. But orchestra isn’t just about merrymaking and long trips, they have to, of course, play music, some of which is very difficult.

“The hardest song I ever had to learn would probably be Serenade for Strings,” senior Jackson Mankewitz said. “It was written by Tchaikovsky, the same guy who wrote The Nutcracker.”

Both Mankewitz and Glenn agreed that this was the hardest song they ever had to play. But, as for all performances, there is a lot of pressure that weighs on everyone.

“During our concerts, everyone is kinda depending on you to do your part,” Glenn said. “So if you mess up, it reflects badly on everyone else.”

Whenever a mistake is made, it can be pretty hard to forget.

“Last year, during a concert, my E string completely snapped,”  Mankewitz said,” I don’t know how, I don’t know why, but it was pretty bad.”

Mankewitz plays the violin, which consists of four strings, each of which plays five different pitches of the note when fiddled. So, when one string snapped, it took away five notes. The lack of one violin during that concert probably went unnoticed, though, since the violins has the largest lot of musicians.

“Violins do have the biggest group.” Glenn said. “But other than that, there isn’t really a favorite instrument. Everyone is kind of important, because we all have to do our own part.”

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Orchestra-more than just a class